Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Amy Atkin lace table mats research

Amy Atkin was the first female Nottingham machine lace designer, however, like many other women of her time, she relinquished paid work on marriage which always seemed to me a great waste of talent. Reflecting on her life and work I decided to carry out some practice-based research focusing on the domestic constraints she and other contemporary female designers faced at the beginning of the twentieth century. I studied the archive of her beautiful designs in the Collection of the Nottingham City Museums and decided to base my response on table mats incorporating lace in a reference to Judy Chicago’s use of place settings in her famous feminist work ‘The dinner party’.

The lace panels are my designs inspired by Amy’s archive and are worked in needle run lace on machine net; hers would have been produced on levers lace machines. The lace is merely tacked in place indicating that it could be removed at any time, much like the careers of these talented women, and each mat is embroidered with wording from the marriage ceremony ‘for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer’ highlighting the changes in women’s circumstances on marriage. If you are interested in reading more about the project I’ve written a paper about it in Textile the Journal of Cloth and Culture which is available through the following link

No comments: